Archive for the Shazamcastings category

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All I Want for Christmas is a Captain Marvel On-Going Series

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CMAdv_42_72

Comics Alliance has released their list of Characters Most in Need of a Solo Book in 2016.  They’ve rightly picked Shazm, née Captain Marvel.  And look which books and creator they point to as models for the suggested on-going:

I can’t claim to be a long-time fan of DC’s Captain Marvel. In a universe that already has a Superman, he always felt like a slightly goofy spare to me. But in the past twelve months, I’ve read two comics that changed my mind: Multiversity’s Thunderworld Adventures and Convergence: Shazam. The artists on each series — Cameron Stewart and Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner — offer up different but equally simple takes on the character, all square-jawed heroism and joyously improbable strongman muscles. The Shazam series — easily the best thing to come out of Convergence — played up the simple bright appeal of the characters even further, by contrasting the incredibly crisp reds and yellows of Jordie Bellaire’s colours with the darkness of Gotham by Gaslight.

So now I’d love to see a Shazam series drawn by Shaner, one that goes to the bright, silly places that modern Superman comics often fear to tread, ideally with Mr Mind as the recurring big bad. I mean, a psychic mastermind caterpillar — what’s not to like? [Alex Spencer]

In a word, yes.  Even Spencer, someone who confesses himself not a fan of the character, gets the appeal of the character which Stewart and Shaner both tapped into and continued in their respective works.  Both Thunderworld and Convergence: Shazam were unembarrassed by the character’s light-hearted history while also carrying that light-heartedness forward without being trapped by what had already been done.  (TL;DR – they wrote a historically faithful version of the character that was a blast to read in a contemporary context.)

Thunderworld

ConvergenceShazam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So again, yes, what is needed this year is a Shazam on-going.  Come on Santa DC – make it happen for all of us volunteer members of the Marvel Family.  Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men might not be in your reach but giving Cap a chance to shine certainly is.

Curator

Shazam’s New Patron Gods

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NewPatrons-Small

Lachlan Hibbert-Wells of the wonderful Ask the DC Multiverse Historian Blog has posted on Reddit what is definitively the best introduction I’ve seen yet to Captain Marvel Shazam’s new patron gods.  Be sure to follow the link to Reddit above and upvote his comment if you are a redditor and check out his blog.

NewPatronHeadshots-Small

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DC Gods

  • S’ivaa: An ‘Old God’ – as in the ones that came before the New Gods – and the new source of Shazam’s strength. From the DC Wiki:

After the death of the Old Gods and before the rise of the new, there was a time when monstrous shadow elementals walked he cosmos. The last of them remaining is S’ivaa, the Dancer of destruction, a powerful monster whose dance could destroy the universe. When the New Gods came to power, S’ivaa fell asleep under the eternal sea on New Genesis, there sleeping undisturbed for eons.

When Darkseid corrupted the Source S’ivaa awoke, and immediately proceeded to carry out his purpose. With all the Gods either powerless or uncaring due to the madness in the Source, S’ivaa made way to the middle point between Apokolips and New Genesis. There, he began his dance of destruction, which, when completed, would tear apart the fabric of space and time. To battle him, Highfather called upon Superman and Orion to stall S’ivaa, while himself and Darkseid sought to breach the Source and undo the damage Darkseid has done.

Eventually, S’ivaa was defeated when Superman and Orion tossed him through a hole in space he himself created, hurling him to the rupture in the Source Wall created by Highfather and Darkseid. S’ivaa was pulled into the Source Wall, becoming a part of it forever.

  • H’ronmeer: A Martian God of fire – you’ll probably have heard Martian Manhunter mention him – and the soure of Shazam’s new fire powers, which might also be linked to how he still flies somehow.

H’ronmeer is recognized as one of the more powerful and active Gods within the Martian pantheon.

The Green Martians are not always in agreement concerning H’ronmeer’s true motives and function. Some factions consider him the God of Death and Fire, while others consider him the God of Light and Life.

As H’ronmeer is a God of Death, he may function as an analog, or even an aspect of The Endless entity known as Death. Many members of the Endless are recognized by different names in different alien cultures. Death’s little brother, Dream, for example is known as the Martian God of dreams, L’zoril. It stands to reason then, that H’ronmeer actually is Death, albeit in a different form.

  • Zonuz: Another Old God, in fact the last of them, and along with being Darkseid’s father he’s also now the source of Shazam’s ‘source of manipulation’

Zonuz was the last Old God, original wielder of the Torment Sanction and the first God of Evil who adopted the name Yuga Khan. He also wielded the Anti-Life at one point in his life.

Reanimating the Old Gods his son murdered, Yuga Khan was decided to eliminate the New Gods so the Old Gods never die, but his children joined against him and was ultimately slain by the resentful, power-hungry Uxas while he was about to kill Izaya, his first-born son and Uxas’ older brother.

Real World Gods

  • Ate – A real world god from Greek mythology who is now the one that grants Shazam his ‘boldness’. From Wikipedia:

Atë is the Greek goddess of mischief, delusion, ruin, and folly. Até also refers to the action performed by a hero, usually because of hubris, that often leads to his or her death or downfall. Mythology personifies Atë as the daughter either of Zeus or of Eris.

  • Anapel – a Goddess of reincarnation worshipped by the Koryak people in Siberia, Russia. More obscure than the rest, she’s now the source of Shazam’s compassion. From Wikipedia:

Her name means “Little Grandmother” in the Koryak language. She was worshipped at ceremonies following the birth of a new child.

  • Mamaragan – A lightning God from Australian Aboriginal mythology, and now the source of Shazam’s lightning but, more interestingly, it’s revealed this is the true identity of the Wizard who chose Billy (and who, until the name switch post-Flashpoint, was known as the Wizard Shazam).

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Mamaragan or Namarrkun is a lightning god who speaks with thunder as his voice. He rides a storm-butt and throws lightning bolts to humans and trees. He lives in a puddle.

Curator

Brokenhearted: We Almost Had a Marvel Family Ongoing???

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Fam

Yeah, I chose brokenhearted for a reason. I just got alerted to CBR’s article about the Morrison, Waid, and Simone Marvel Family ongoing that almost was but now never will be.

What an incredible concept:

“The idea was, three features, rotating the lead story; Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and Mary Marvel,” Simone explained of the unproduced book. “Grant Morrison would write Jr., Mark Waid would write Cap, and I would write Mary Marvel.”

“I mean, how freaking cool would that be? Mark Waid on Cap, Grant on Jr? That would be the best DC book ever,” said Simone. “That is one of the few real regrets I have for a project that didn’t quite happen.”

No joke: I would have bought this title if only for Simone’s take on Mary Marvel:

“The thing is, I love Mary Marvel for some very specific reasons,” Simone explained. “I love the entire Marvel family because I think they are the best wish story in comics. They are poor, abandoned orphans with no one, and they are granted all the power in the world with a magic word. A word anyone reading could say.”

“And they don’t use their power to be grim dickheads, they use it to be kind and charming and to stop bullies and oppressors,” she continued. “More than that, quite specifically, Mary Marvel was always one of the few girl heroes who actually behaved like a girl.”

“I can’t stress what a big deal that was. So many young girls oversexualized or endlessly, shallowly aggressive in comics. But Mary had that early Peter Parker thing where she actually dealt with being young in a different, believable way.”

Not only would I have bought this title with giddiness I would have purchased additional copies of every issue for my daughters.

We were this close… and that makes New 52 Billy, The Curse of Shazam, and all the rest that has gone wrong so, so, so much worse by comparison.

If anyone needs me I’ll be at my desk trying to unknot my stomach…

Curator

Favorite Ordway Power of Shazam Cover

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I’m posting this just for some gratuitous enjoyment of good art featuring [a verson of] Earth’s Mightiest Mortal.

Yes, I realize this shot, taken from Power of Shazam #26, is of an alternate world.  It is gorgeous nonetheless and is my favorite cover among the very rich crop of selections from Ordway’s run.

Is it too much to ask for a year’s worth of Elseworlds issues coming from this world?  I propose the name Earth-Awesomest for the designation.

Ordway

Curator

Reddit Discussions of the Captain Marvel Trademark Proposal

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Reddit Discussions of the Captain Marvel Trademark Proposal

Yesterday was a big day for this website; hits exceeded, by far, anything recorded until now.

Most of those hits came from the places on Reddit where I posted links to Carl Shinyama’s argument about Marvel and DC sharing the Captain Marvel trademark.

If you are interested in reading those discussions you can find them at the following links.  And yeah, I accidentally wrote copyright rather than trademark the first two times I posted links on Reddit.  Sorted from most comments to least:

DC Subreddit: Time for Marvel and DC to Share the Captain Marvel Copyright?

Marvel Subreddit: Time for Marvel and DC to Share the Captain Marvel Copyright?

Comic Books Subreddit: Time for Marvel and DC to Share the Captain Marvel Trademark?

Shazam Subreddit: Time for Marvel and DC to Share the Captain Marvel Trademark (no comments at the time of this writing).

Curator

Take a Look at Captain Marvel’s New Costume

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You’ve probably heard by now that Captain Marvel is apparently getting an update to his New 52 look.  I’ve went digging on the interwebs to find the highest resolution picture I can find for the Shazamcast audience to scrutinize to its heart’s content.

The shot comes from the solicitation for Justice League #48 (January 2016).

JusticeLeague48(Click for Larger Version)

Here’s Cap highlighted:

NewCMCostume

So, what do you think?

Update: Courtesy of io9 (blue language warning on the link) we have not just Captain Marvel’s new look for Darkseid War but also something of an idea about his new role:

Superman, the new God of Strength, beats the ever-loving crap out of Lex Luthor, just because he can—and leaves him bloodied and near-death on Apokolips, Darkseid’s former domain. Shazam, for seemingly little reason, gets turned into the God of Gods, which I’m not even a sure is an actual thing. But hey, it’s not like the rest of this issue is anything but full on craziness.

gog

So there’s that.

Curator

Fan Project: Shazam Subreddit

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Fan Project: Shazam Subreddit

Do you reddit?

If so, you know how dismal this screenshot is:

ShazamReddit

Old posts on the main page. No banner modification. The front page of nothing but Neglected.

That sad-sack subreddit is the one dedicated to Earth’s Mightiest Mortal and, if you are a Cap fan, I think you will agree with me in saying it is far beneath the character’s worth.

I mean, compare it to Spiderman’s:

SMReddit

Now, of course, Captain Marvel is no where as popular as Spidey.  Nonetheless, check out that cool banner and custom icons.  Look particularly at those recent post dates.

Those are the fruits of a healthy subreddit.

That isn’t a worthy goal in-and-of itself.  However, considering reddit’s popularity – particularly among younger users of the web – it seems like an underused utility when it comes to helping new fans find the character and his stories.

So this post counts as a casual appeal: when you find Captain Marvel content on the web – whatever it is – would you consider posting it on /r/Shazam?

If you feel like writing something about Captain Marvel for the web would you consider reddit as your forum (if you don’t have a blog or some other means of publishing the content), i.e. would you consider writing it up on /r/Shazam?

I’m not asking for the posting of Shazamcast content; it seems that community doesn’t much care for links from here.  However, raising Cap’s public profile will take efforts on several fronts and, being a central aim of The Shazamcast, reddit seems like a good place to make an effort.

Either way, thanks for taking the time to read!

Curator

Remembering Otto Binder

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Remembering Otto Binder

41 years ago today Otto Binder died in Chestertown, New York at the age of 63.

In his lengthy and varied career as a writer he was responsible not only for a large volume of early Captain Marvel stories but also co-created (mostly with artist CC Beck) what amounts to the distinctive Captain Marvel mythology – Mary Marvel, Tawky Tawny, Black Adam, Mister Mind, The Monster Society of Evil, Ibac, King Kull, Mister Atom, and even Dr Sivana’s two evil children, Georgia and Thaddeus Jr.

In one of the greatest examples of irony in comicdom, after Captain Marvel was legally shut down because of his similarity to Superman, Binder went on to develop the Superman mythology in a way highly similar to his work on Cap.

It is thus no wonder that Comics Alliance’s Benito Cereno has placed Binder’s name among the greatest creators of the Golden and Silver ages of comics like Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Bill Finger, and Jerry Siegel – as well as identifying Binder as perhaps comics’ most underrated creator.

You can remember Binder today by reading his first Captain Marvel story in Captain Marvel Adventures #9 titled “Captain Marvel Saves the King.”  You can find the issue on Comic Book + and The Digital Comic Museum.

Thanks for all the great stories Otto!

Binder

Curator

Flashback: Captain Marvel by Alex Ross

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Flashback: Captain Marvel by Alex Ross

This gorgeous piece comes from issue #5 of Ross’ 2005 Justice series which you can learn more about here and purchase here.  If you, like so many others, find Ross’ work engrossing you are in for a treat: TwoMorrows Publishing has an extensive write up (based in part on an interview with the artist himself) about Ross’ work on Captain Marvel and his family.

JusticeCM

Also, since you are here, go cast your vote for the greatest Captain Marvel story of all time (thus far).  You can vote for Ross’ excellent The Power of Hope story or any other you choose.

Curator

Poll: The Greatest Captain Marvel Story

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Poll: The Greatest Captain Marvel Story

Benito Cereno has done Captain Marvel fans the great service of writing up an article on Comics Alliance attempting to identify the greatest Captain Marvel stories by decade.

Plaing off that article, I’m curious what readers/listeners of The Shazamcast would say is the greatest Captain Marvel story thus far.

Thus, in the poll below, you will find Cereno’s choices alongside a few of my own (my site, my poll, right?) plus the opportunity for you to submit your own choice (be sure and leave the issue number and title along with why you love the story in the comments).

Start off by reading Cereno’s article then scroll down past the poll for descriptions of the story lines I added (if they aren’t familiar).

So let’s have it: what is the best Captain Marvel story of all time?

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The Greatest Captain Marvel Tale of All Time (Thus Far)

View Results

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(1970s) Make Way for Captain Thunder
CaptainThunder

(2000s) Shazam! The Power of Hope
PowerOfHope

(2010s) The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1
Thunderworld

(2010s) Convergence Shazam #1 – Return of the Thunder
ConvergenceShazam